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Full text of "Will the future redeem the past? An address delivered at the eighteenth-century capitol, Williamsburg, Virginia, June 11, 1960. Opening remarks by Winthrop Rockefeller."

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An Address by 


Former President of 

trie United Nations General Assembly 

Delivered at tbe Eighteentb-Century Capitol 

Williamsburg, Virginia 

June 11, 1960 

Opening Remarks by 

Chairman of the Boards 

Colonial Williamsburg, Incorporated, and 

Williamsburg Restoration, Incorporated 


Williamsburg, Virginia 

""" V 

> Austin 

Opening Remarks 

By Winthrop Rockefeller 

ON behalf of the Trustees and Directors of Colonial Williams- 
burg it is a great pleasure to welcome so many distinguished 
guests to the Prelude to Independence ceremony. 

Our meeting this year comes at a time when Colonial Williams- 
burg is entering a new phase of its life. For the past 35 years the 
Restoration has known my father's deeply personal interest in re- 
storing the eighteenth-century capital of the Virginia colony. Dur- 
ing his last years he gradually eased his official ties with Colonial 
Williamsburg, but this, of course, in no way lessened his love of 
Williamsburg. He continued to come here in the spring and fall 
for long visits as a citizen and neighbor. 

When he withdrew from active association with the Boards of 
Trustees and Directors, he began, in effect, a training program for 
those who would carry on the Restoration. 

It was his earnest wish that the Restoration should maintain the 
broad foundations of scholarship, interpretation, and presentation on 
which it is based. Those of us who are stewards of the Restoration 
today are determined that the standards my father set shall not be 

I should add that as a result of his foresight, Colonial Williams- 
burg has both the leadership and the material resources necessary 
for the continuance of its programs of historic preservation and edu- 



As an example of our educational activities, we have as our guests 
tonight an outstanding group of 58 graduate students from 42 coun- 
tries who are here for the fourth Williamsburg International As- 

These students from abroad are especially welcome. We hope 
they will take back to their native lands memories of these moments 
in this historic building which occupies a very special place in 
American history. It was the political training ground for many of 
the leaders of the struggle for independence. 

As such, it is symbolic of the present day meaning of Williams- 
burg. My father, who was deeply interested in the significance of 
the Restoration, once said: 

"Williamsburg has a lesson for us today. We can always learn 
from great men. The men of colonial Williamsburg were individ- 
uals. They had the courage to be themselves and to do what they 
thought was right. That is the lesson we can learn." 

He felt that the Restoration went much deeper than the saving 
or reconstruction of eighteenth-century buildings alone. 

His concept, "That the future may learn from the past/' is of 
guiding importance to us. And by that, my father meant not only 
the American future, but the world future. He believed that there 
is something of value to be learned here by men of all nations as we 
continue our search for peace and international understanding based 
on justice. 

As part of this concept and to make certain that an important 
chapter of our history is not forgotten, we celebrate each year the 
fifty days from May 15 to July 4. In the year 1776 these days formed 
an important Williamsburg period we know as the Prelude to In- 
dependence. Many of the first steps toward our freedom were taken 
during that period. On May 15, 1776, the convention of delegates 
meeting here passed the Virginia Resolution for American Inde- 
pendence. This led directly to the Declaration of Independence in 
Philadelphia on July 4th. 

The delegates assembled here also wrote a state constitution, and 
elected Patrick Henry as the first governor of Virginia. 


And it was here on June 12, 184 years ago that the Vir$£s$w f^i 
Declaration of Rights was unanimously adopted. $H 

Our purpose tonight is to recall the significance of this document 
—one of the great statements of the natural rights of man. After its 
passage here, many of its principles became the basis for the first ten 
amendments to the constitution of the United States which we call 
the federal Bill of Rights. 

These and many other historic actions are, in brief, the heart of 
our educational and interpretation program here in Colonial Wil- 

For those who can come to Williamsburg— and they number near- 
ly one million each year— we have no formal curriculum, no class- 
rooms, or final examinations. We offer a living textbook of history. 

To those who have not yet visited Williamsburg or who wish to 
learn more about our history, Colonial Williamsburg offers class- 
room and other school materials, seminars in many fields, books and 
general publications, films, research assistance for scholars, and many 
other services. 

For example, I am happy to report that approximately 60,000 
children from more than 1,100 schools visited us in groups last year. 
Under our foreign visit program more than 200 political and profes- 
sional leaders came here last year in addition to 3,000 other visitors 
from more than 80 countries. 

Those who visit here— both Americans and those from abroad— 
learn something about the everyday life, thoughts, and attitudes of a 
century that saw the republic conceived, born, and begin its life in 
the family of nations. 

It seems worth remembering in these days of international crises 
and the race for outer space that much can still be found in the 
pattern set nearly two centuries ago by our forefathers. Their de- 
votion to the common good, to responsible leadership, and to prin- 
ciples of freedom can refresh our spirits and provide guidance today. 


Will the Future Redeem the Past? 

By Charles Malik 



HERE is something mysterious about history. The commonest 
reflection on history is that it does not stand still. This means 
that "it" "flows." What is this "it" that flows, and what is this 
"flowing" which seems to be inseparable from "it""? These are mys- 
terious questions. Surely there is no river in front of us that flows, 
and yet we immovably persist in maintaining that whatever history 
is, "it" is something that "moves," that "flows." We are using there- 
fore an image, an analogy. I suggest that what we mean by this 
analogy of the "movement" or the "flow" of history is that there is 
something uncertain about any assessment of the past. When I 
make a historical judgment, "it does not stand still;" I may change it 
tomorrow; or even if the judgment is "immovable," its significance 
in history and for history may radically alter tomorrow. 

I propose today to meditate briefly on the past decade or two and 
to look ahead to the coming decade or two. I have been led to this 
undertaking partly through the inspiration of the whole concept of 
Colonial Williamsburg and its majestic execution, whose purpose is 
so perfectly expressed in its motto, "That the future may learn from 
the past;" partly because of the critical nature of the present moment 
of history. I perform this meditation at "this point" in time, namely, 
at the threshold of the sixties of the twentieth century. "History 
flows" or "moves on" means that history has not "yet" delivered all 


that with which "it" is pregnant, that history has not "come to an 
end," that "it" continues to be in labor and will deliver still more, 
that the last word, not only about the past that is "finished and done 
away with," but especially of the past and its "place" in the determi- 
nation of the present and the future, has not "yet" been said, and 
that therefore the "present" meditation may have to be altered more 
or less appreciably one year or five years or ten years from now. 
What I say today then must be viewed under four essential limita- 
tions. (1) I do not have all the facts before me, not only the enor- 
mous multiplicity of known and ascertainable facts, but especially 
the secrets under lock and key in the archives of governments and of 
other organizations bearing upon history. (2) When all the facts are 
before me, not only will the picture be more complete in the sense 
of including everything, but my judgment of the nature and import- 
ance even of the known or ascertainable facts may have to undergo 
considerable modification. (3) Even an indisputable disastrous fact, 
such as the communization of mainland China, could take on a 
completely different meaning in the light of future decisions and 
future developments. And (4) I view the decisiveness of the present 
moment in history as consisting in a life-and-death struggle between 
International Communism, not only nor even primarily as an eco- 
nomic system, but as a total outlook on life, and the rest of the world, 
especially the Western world, and in the Western world especially 
the United States of America; and because of my knowledge of its 
ultimate positive values, as epitomized in part, for instance, in the 
magnificent language of the Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776, 
I range myself wholly on the side of the West, despite its many im- 
perfections, mistakes, failures, and sins. It is this fundamental con- 
viction and my free self-ranging on one side of the life-and-death 
struggle that enable me, for instance, to say that the communization 
of mainland China was "disastrous;" and I view everything from the 
standpoint of this conviction and this self-ranging. Thus I agree with 
the following finding of the international Communist congress which 
gathered together in Moscow in November of 1957 for the celebra- 
tion of the fortieth anniversary of the Russian October Revolution 


and which was attended by delegates from sixty-five Communist par- 
ties representing a total membership all over the world of thirty-three 
million : that the international stage is the scene today "of the com- 
petition between two diametrically opposed . . . world outlooks, . . . 
the Marxist-Leninist dialectical materialism," on the one hand, and 
every other outlook, on the other. (Pravda, November 22, 1957.) 
And General de Gaulle, who is one of the authoritative voices of the 
West, only last week said: "The division of the peoples that inhabit 
Europe and North America is the main fact and the worst evil of our 
time. Two camps are set up, face to face, under conditions such 
that it depends solely on Moscow or Washington whether or not a 
large part of humanity is wiped out in a few hours." (The New 
York Times, Wednesday, June 1, 1960). 


Under these four limitations we may now work out a provisional 
balance sheet of the last two decades. On the credit side the free 
world and especially the West can congratulate itself on a number of 
things. Fascism has been routed. There has been a remarkable 
European recovery, thanks partly to the Marshall Plan, partly and in 
the first instance to the vigor of the European peoples themselves 
with their great economic, political, and spiritual institutions. The 
Atlantic Alliance has forged the most important unity of purpose 
and strength in the face of Communism in the world. From the 
point of view of preparedness, the West, despite the sensational 
achievements of the Soviet Union, is relatively very strong. The 
greater part of Germany appears to be permanently integrated into 
the West. The advance of Communism is halted and slightly re- 
versed in France and Italy. From the point of view of military align- 
ment, Yugoslavia is detached from Moscow. Despite constant 
sources of danger, both internal and external, Greece and Turkey, 
thanks in part to the Truman Doctrine, have not been overrun or 
neutralized. Communism has so far been prevented from spilling 
over into Iran. Japan has considerably recovered, and despite Com- 


nuinist: notation ;tiul infiltration Japan remains an ally of the West. 
The defensive alliances in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia 
stand as watchful guardians against the advance of Communism in 
their areas. The domain of freedom, so far as national liberation is 
concerned, has considerably increased through the emergence of 
Asia and Africa into independent nationhood. Generous programs 
of technical and economic assistance developed by the United 
States and other countries, and to a small extent by the United Na- 
tions also, have helped in easing the lot of the less fortunate and 
promoting their peaceful development. The end of the Stalinist 
tyranny is an important event in the total sweep of history. There is 
a more widespread understanding in the free world of the nature 
and goals of Communism than ever before through the immense 
literature that has lately poured forth on this subject, and through 
the increasing interest that the universities and schools are taking in 
it. Events in the Far East, in Asia, in the Middle East, and in Eastern 
Europe have opened the eyes of many people to the real facts of life 
with respect to international Communism. Marxist predictions have 
been scandalously belied so far as the resiliency and increasing pros- 
perity of the free world, and especially of the West, is concerned. 
Despite its normal inner strains democracy is flourishing at least in 
Western Europe and in North America. The United Nations has 
not broken up; it includes now practically everybody, and disputes 
and situations can be debated in its halls and world public opinion 
could have some effect upon them. Increasing cultural and other 
exchanges between East and West have contributed to a climate of 
greater understanding and trust. Despite the local flare-ups here and 
there, general peace has been maintained throughout the world. 

These are solid achievements. When one closely and fully con- 
siders each one of them, one can obtain real hope and comfort. The 
free world has not been altogether passive and remiss during these 
years: on the contrary, it manifested alertness, responsibility, imagi- 
nation, and bold thinking. A general awakening has since the Second 
World War resulted in building up a complex international ma- 
chinery for the defense of the free world. If this was the only record 


of the last two decades so far as the gigantic world struggle ol the 
moment is concerned, then the outlook for this struggle would be 
altogether hopeful and bright from the point of view of the West. 


However, we must face on the debit side a series of depressing 
facts. Communism started from zero forty-three years ago and today 
it rigidly controls one-third of mankind and has penetrated and 
softened up in varying degrees the remaining two-thirds: was this 
phenomenal development inevitable? The victory of Communism 
in the late forties in China means that the largest compactly homo- 
geneous mass of humanity, numbering some 600 million people, are 
now sworn enemies of everything free and Western: was this de- 
velopment inevitable? The Korean War, despite all its heroic exer- 
tions, ended in a draw: was this outcome inevitable? In Southeast 
Asia there has occurred during the last ten years an advance of Com- 
munism and a retreat of freedom: was this advance and retreat in- 
evitable? Whereas international Communism was effectively ab- 
sent from the Middle East ten or fifteen years ago, and in the con- 
sideration of Middle-Eastern problems Communism was treated as 
though it did not exist, international Communism enters decisively 
today into the determination of every Middle-Eastern problem: was 
this development inevitable? Whereas ten or fifteen years ago Com- 
munism was effectively absent from Latin America, today it is 
visibly present: was this development inevitable? The Communist 
Party, receiving orders directly from Moscow, is certainly more ac- 
tive and influential today in Asia and Africa than ten years ago, and 
several responsible United States officials said recently that the Com- 
munists have markedly intensified their activity in the United States: 
was this penetration inevitable? 

Backing international Communism as its embodiment and ve- 
hicle is the most superbly organized international political party in 
history, the Communist Party, with the most advanced techniques of 


intellectual, social, economic, and political penetration and subversion 
ever devised: was the impotence of the West in developing any com- 
parable counter-force inevitable? Backing international Communism 
materially is the second most industrially advanced state in the world, 
the Soviet Union, which might at the present rate of development 
surpass the United States in two decades: was this discrepancy in 
the rates of growth, and in the rates of change of the rates of growth, 
between East and West inevitable? This supporting industrial base 
appears to command atomic and nuclear weapons in abundance, 
whereas ten or fifteen years ago the United States had a monopoly 
of these weapons: was this decline in Western relative strength in- 
evitable? We are today more than two years and eight months since 
Sputnik I, and while the West has made enormous advances in 
rocketry, it is not clear that in this revolutionary technological field 
it has caught up with the Soviet Union so far as thrust power is con- 
cerned: is this persistent lag inevitable? In the matter of economic 
international competition there is no comparison between the eco- 
nomic status of the Communist world today and its status ten years 
ago: was this decline in Western relative economic strength inevit- 

The visible struggle appears to occur all on this side of the Iron 
and Bamboo Curtains: in Europe, in the Middle East, in Southeast 
Asia, in the Far East, in Latin America; and when people expect a 
crisis to break out tomorrow, they do not expect it in Albania or 
Rumania or Russia or China, but in the home of freedom; freedom 
then is on the defensive and not Communism: is it fated that the 
West should be always on the defensive, always reacting? The West 
today appears gladly to welcome neutralism in areas in which it 
would not have countenanced this phenomenon a decade ago: was 
this constant retreat of Western influence inevitable? In the nascent 
nationalism of Asia and Africa, which is otherwise a natural and 
good thing, there is an admixture in varying degrees of anti-West- 
ernism, if not pro-Communism that leads to anti-Westernism: was 
this spread of anti-Westernism as a concomitant of the growth of na- 
tionalism inevitable? In the very nations that have attained the dig- 


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IffiNfsity of 

nity of political freedom and independence other dimensions of free- 
dom have been severely curtailed, namely, personal freedom, intel- 
lectual freedom, social freedom, spiritual freedom: was this contrac- 
tion of the domain of freedom inevitable? Communist literature has 
during this decade inundated Asia, Africa, and Latin-America in rela- 
tion to non-Communist literature: was this advance in the relative 
abundance of Communist literature inevitable? Communism has 
been more persistent and effective in presenting to the Asian and 
African mind a well-thought-out interpretation of existence, the 
Marxist-Leninist ideology, than any outlook that has been forthcom- 
ing from the West: was this timidity in the articulation of the ideol- 
ogy of freedom inevitable? The apparent unity of purpose and action 
among the international Communists impresses the Asian and Afri- 
can mind, whereas the squabbles among the members of the West- 
ern family produce an air of internal division and weakness: were 
these squabbles and divisions inevitable? 

The simple fact that the free world has not succeeded in forty 
years in pushing back the tide of Communism by one inch from 
where it really got political control leaves the strong impression that 
we are here dealing with an irresistible and irreversible thrust which 
will inevitably inherit and transform in its own image all the king- 
doms and cultures of the earth : is this creeping tide of Communism 
completely irreversible? Perhaps the most distressing fact is the self- 
satisfaction and self-congratulation that prevails in the West; the 
softness, the laxity, the lack of determination and decisiveness, the 
general decadence, the uncritical readiness to settle for 'peaceful 
coexistence": are we then face to face with some ineluctable judg- 
ment of fate or God? 


In terms of the ultimate world struggle, how are we to assess the 
net performance of the immediate past from the comparison of the 
two sides of the balance sheet which I have just drawn up? I can 

[13 1 

m \ rr- A I \- >« > 

draw the provisional conclusion that while things could have been 
much worse, in my opinion they could have decidedly been much 
better. International Communism is today on an over-all basis rela- 
tively stronger than ten or fifteen years ago, and the free world is rel- 
atively weaker; there is a marked over-all advance by the one and a 
corresponding over-all retreat by the other. In history it is impossible 
at any moment to work out a neat, final balance sheet, for at no mo- 
ment "in history" does history come to an end. It all depends then on 
the future. The future could redeem the past or it could confirm it. 
But it will redeem nothing unless the question of the inevitability or 
otherwise of the developments of the immediate past is first squarely 
and honestly faced. For either you believe that these things were 
inevitable or you believe that they could have been helped. If you 
believe that they were inevitable; namely, that the outcome of the 
struggle in China, in Korea, in Indochina; that the Communist pene- 
tration of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America; that the 
absence of any effective counteracting force to the Communist Party; 
that the relative decline in Western influence and Western economic 
and military strength; etc.— if you believe that all these developments 
of the fifties of the twentieth century could not have heen helped, 
then you are already a Marxist. For Marx, Lenin, and Khrushchev 
hold firmly (and Khrushchev repeats it everyday) that the iron laws 
of history are precisely such that whatever happens, Communism 
will come out on top. Therefore to them, and to you if you believe 
in the inevitability of these developments, namely, if you refuse to 
assume moral responsibility for them, the Communist advance and 
the Western retreat did not come about by accident: the universe 
was such, history was such, the nature of human society and its de- 
velopment was such, the economic, social, and political situation in 
Asia, Africa, Europe, and America was such, that the advance and the 
retreat had to take place. I warn you therefore against declining to 
assume full moral-historical responsibility for what happened during 
the last two decades; for if you do so you are already a Marxist and 
Marxian Communism will have already won in your soul. 


The only hope therefore is to believe on a basis of truth and not of 
darkness or sentiment or dogmatism that nothing of what transpired 
was inevitable, and that everything could have been prevented or 
reversed. Only on the basis of radical moral responsibility can you 
overcome the fatalism of the cosmologists and the determinism of the 
dialectical materialists. The future will never redeem the past and 
we will only pass from one fiasco to another, from one pathetic drift 
to another, unless in contemplating the past we can put our finger 
with certainty on such and such an act and such and such a decision 
and such an such a person, and honestly say that this act or decision 
or person could have heen different and therewith the course of 
events would have taken a radically different turn. If only people 
rose to the occasion, if only they were not overwhelmed by their 
softness and apathy, if only they overcame their greed, if only they 
were morally strong, if only they were not selfish and narrow, if only 
they were not petty and spiteful and stupid, if only they were big, 
if only they knew what was at stake, if only they were not hypo- 
critical, if only they trampled under foot the wide and easy way! 

I know of more than one instance in which precisely and only be- 
cause people lacked some of these moral perfections we are where 
we are today. 


I shall not go into any detailed moral-historical-political evaluation 
of the past. Taking upon ourselves the whole moral guilt of the past, 
believing that the present would have been entirely different if only 
people measured up to the historic requirements of the moment, and 
therefore determining that the future which will be the responsibility 
of this generation shall redeem the past, let us now quietly inquire 
into what must be done in the immediate future to reverse the trend 
of the immediate past. 

Four conditions are absolutely sine qua non: unity among the 
Western allies, deeper understanding and statesmanlike assistance 
towards the peoples of Asia and Africa, winning the technological 


competition especially in the matter of armaments, ancl winning the 
economic competition in productivity. If trie Atlantic world breaks 
up, whether from internal friction or external pressure, there will 
be complete disarray in the free world and little will be left to oppose 
effectively the onward march of Communism anywhere. If the 
Asians and Africans are not understood on the deepest possible plane 
and if the Communists prove that they are more friendly and helpful 
to them, then Asia and Africa will gradually fall to their wiles. If 
the Communists do better in the technological revolution, especially 
with respect to weapons, then all will be lost. If the West does not 
outproduce them, both quantitatively and qualitatively, then the rest 
of the world will be sucked into their system. 

On the subject of Western unity the question is whether the 
Western nations can morally rise above their narrow nationalisms 
into a realization that it is their whole civilization that is once more 
today at stake. I believe they can. Nothing is half as important to- 
day as that the spiritual unity of Europe, America, and the Mediter- 
ranean world be understood and affirmed. 

Putting aside the question of vision, will, softness of living, and 
unity of effort among the diverse factors involved, there is no doubt 
whatsoever that, by any standard of measurement, the material and 
human resources of North and South America, of Western Europe, 
of Japan, of Australasia, and of as much of Africa (and there is no 
reason why all of Africa should not be included) and Asia as may be 
persuaded to cooperate, can be so marshaled and coordinated as to 
outdo the Communist domain, in any field of human endeavor, by a 
ratio of at least five to one. It is all therefore a question of vision, 
will, overcoming the softness of life, and inducing the necessary uni- 
fied effort. The free world has nobody and nothing to blame but it- 
self if it cannot so order its house as to beat the Communists decisive- 
ly in every realm. 

The West should stand firm at all costs against any further ex- 
pansion of Communism, including above all the test case of Berlin. 
In a possible showdown, the obvious strategic handicaps notwith- 
standing, there should be no question in anybody's mind that the 


West would not accept a weakening of its position in Berlin. Some 
Western commentators have darkly hinted that the West would not 
"fight" over Berlin. It is fair then to ask, over what would the West 


But merely holding the line is patently not enough. This was the 
error of the doctrine of containment. It is a passive, defensive, un- 
challenging policy; and such a policy, except as a necessary first step, 
is doomed to failure; firstly because this is a dynamic universe; sec- 
ondly because you are dealing with the most aggressive enemy who 
will always swirl around and underneath and above all your con- 
taining devices; thirdly because a merely defensive or containing at- 
titude means that you are so fat and satisfied yourself that all you 
wish to achieve is to get away with your own skin, and thus you have 
no vision, no concern for the rest of the world, and he who has no 
concern for others will sooner or later find that others, including his 
erstwhile friends, have no concern for him; and fourthly because you 
cannot be true to your own freedom if you do not wish and work for 
freedom for others. It is interesting to note the sort of qualifications 
that responsible leaders sometimes use for "peace." The Communist 
spokesmen employ peace without qualification; by which they mean 
that they should be allowed to carry out their international proletar- 
ian revolution "in peace." But the spokesmen of the West speak of 
peace "with justice and freedom." This is a correct qualification 
from the Western point of view: peace without justice and freedom 
is no peace. But what interests me most is, which of the two qualifi- 
cations do they drop when they wish to use only one? You will 
find they usually drop freedom and leave justice. This is to me 
wrong. It could betray an unconscious readiness to sacrifice free- 
dom for what is sentimentally called justice. Both are certainly 
necessary, but freedom is more fundamental. Freedom creates 
justice, but not conversely; for justice could be something mechan- 


ical without the ultimate freedom of the spirit which demands and 
creates and recognizes and enforces justice. The West can only be 
true to itself if it says, "I am prepared to settle for peace with freedom 
and justice/' and if it wants to use only one of the two, "I am pre- 
pared to settle for peace with freedom." 

It follows that an active policy of liberation is of the essence of 
any sound Western program for the coming years. When the late 
John Foster Dulles spoke of liberation shortly after he became Sec- 
retary of State, was there a Communist or fellow-traveling or Olym- 
pian or softheaded or pacifist or appeasing voice in the world that did 
not attack him? This synchronization of all these voices against any- 
one who would dare stand up and actively challenge Communism 
is one of the strange phenomena of this age. It measures the success 
of international Communism in intimidating and softening up the 
free world. 

But only a believing, active, sustained and bold looking forward 
to a free Eastern Europe, a free Russia, and a free China is worthy of 
the magnitude of the gigantic world struggle. A radical distinction 
must be made between the great peoples of these countries and their 
Communist governments. Policies should be devised and pursued in 
conformity with this distinction. The flame of freedom must be kept 
burning in the soul of the oppressed. The hope of liberation must 
never be allowed to fade away from their hearts. As free peoples they 
have an honorable and equal place in the company of the free. Their 
energies will be given the freest scope. Their spiritual and cultural 
contributions to the whole world are awaited and welcomed. With 
vision and leadership the West should be able to promise them great- 
er material benefits than they have been able to achieve under Com- 
munism; benefits which they themselves would acquire by their own 
free exertions. But they should be promised much more: they should 
be assured of the freedom to criticize, the freedom to think, the free- 
dom to create, the freedom to live, the freedom to work, the freedom to 
choose and turn out their own governments, the freedom to lead on the 
basis of merit in a world freed of the poison of mistrust, subversion, and 
intrigue. The Russians should be loved for their great spiritual heroes; 


such as Pushkin, Seraphim, Dosloycvslti; anil should he constantly re 
minded ol them. The wonderful spiritual genius of Russia should be 
separated from the alien Marxism with which the Russians arc now 
afflicted. The promise of freedom with equal material benefits to 
the oppressed should be far more potent than the allurement of a 
material revolution coupled with enslavement to the free. 


The Communists never tire of assuring the rest of the world that 
"peaceful coexistence" only means that they will realize their unal- 
terable aim of communizing the world without war, and that where 
they do not succeed in this, they will keep in mind the possibility of 
non-peaceful means. They are therefore absolutely determined to 
dominate the world with or without war. This was explicitly stated 
by the international Communist congress to which I referred. They 
therefore speak of the "doomed classes" and of "burying" you and 
me. We should not be misled by the terms they use, such as "capi- 
talism," "imperialism," "American imperialism," "Anglo-Saxon or 
Anglo-American imperialism," "bourgeois society," etc. These are 
only revolutionary slogans employed by them to excite and enlist 
people in their international proletarian revolution. What they are 
saying behind all this jargon is that the international Communist 
movement wants to overthrow every existing government, regime, 
system, outlook, religion, and philosophy, and bring the whole world, 
all human thought, aspiration, action, and organization, under its 
absolute control. This is their declared, unchanged, and unchanging 

I am yet to hear one Western leader who, assured to his face that 
he is doomed and will be "buried," can muster enough courage and 
conviction, if not to use the vulgar phrase "bury" with respect to 
Communism itself, at least to use some such civilized expression as 
that the days of Communism are numbered and that Communism 
will one day be completely forgotten. When Mr. Khrushchev as- 


sines Western leaders that their children or at most their grandchil- 
dren will all he Communist, I am yet to hear one Western leader 
who assures Mr. Khrushchev with the same gusto that his children 
or at least his grandchildren will live to regret and be thoroughly 
ashamed of the fact that their fathers or grandfathers were ever 
Communist. And whereas international Communism believes and 
acts on the belief that the days of everything non-Communist are 
numbered, my deepest fear is that Western leadership believes no 
such thing with respect to Communism : my fear is that the soften- 
ing-up process has reached such an advanced state that all now be- 
lieve that Communism is here to stay and that therefore the utmost 
they can do is to manage somehow to "coexist" with it. The deepest 
crisis of the West is the crisis of faith in its own values: whereas 
Communism believes that non-Communist values must be elimin- 
ated from the face of the earth, and acts on this belief, the West no 
longer believes that Communist values themselves are doomed to 
utter destruction and oblivion, and therefore no longer acts on this 
belief. I am yet to meet or know of one important Western leader 
who entertains a dynamic vision for the Communist realm which 
includes the certainty that the children of present-day Communists 
will have completely repudiated Communism and will have adopted 
the fundamental values of freedom. Let the West face up to this 
advanced state of decay in its own soul. 


But what is pre-eminently at stake in Mediterranean- Western civil- 
ization today is its human and universal elements. It is man who is 
denied; it is the affirmation that there is nothing that binds and 
cements all men into one family that is the prime danger; it is the 
fragmentation of humanity into endless exclusivisms, whether na- 
tional or cultural or racial or economic, that poses the deepest chal- 
lenge. Western civilization is doomed until, jolted out of its com- 
placency, self-satisfaction, and sense of apartness, it rediscovers and 



reaffirms what is genuinely human and universal in its own soul. 
This means not only economic and technical sharing with Asia and 
Africa, but intellectual, moral, and spiritual sharing. What is su- 
premely good must be good for all. Those who keep on repeating, 
as though they discovered a transcendental wisdom, that their ideas, 
their way of life, their civilization, is "not for export," but only their 
industrial products, do not know that they are thereby digging the 
grave of their civilization and the grave of their way of life. Those 
who come to Asia and Africa and tell them, "you stay where and 
what you are and we stay where and what we are; we have nothing 
to give save our goods and gadgets," little know that the day will 
come, and perhaps is already here, when Asia and Africa will turn 
upon them and spit in their face. Man can live without goods and 
gadgets but he cannot live without something human and universal 
that joins him to his fellow men. A civilization in which the hu- 
man and universal has atrophied can relate itself to others only 
through force, and force is not an enduring mode of relation, and it 
can always be broken by force. I am not speaking of diplomacy and 
propaganda; I am thinking of a whole philosophy of history. I am 
saying that a civilization is doomed if it is not creatively conscious 
of something universal and human it can and must give; and I am 
saying that Western civilization need not be doomed because no 
civilization conceived and developed the human and universal more 
than it did. 

Most certainly it is not a question of "imposing" anything on any- 
body; what is genuinely human and universal is never imposed; it 
is awaited, welcomed, and embraced. What is non-universal in your 
civilization you keep to yourselves: nobody wants it. Not until the 
businessman from Manchester or Detroit and the peasant from Iran 
or India can come together on a much deeper basis than the ex- 
change of goods and money can the West really begin to have a 
chance in the ferocious competition going on at present for the 
heart and soul of Asia and Africa. Asia and Africa do not want to 
deal only with businessmen: they crave for human and spiritual 
fellowship. There is no exchange of soul, there is no sharing of life 


.iihI ideas, there is no community of spirit, there is no fellowship <>l 
,,,,,,! will) m;ui. This is Asia's and Africa's deepest challenge of the 
West: what have you to give me, not of your trinkets, but of your 
mind, not of the external husks of your life, but of the substance and 
marrow of your soul? Again I am not speaking of the requirements 
of any immediate emergency: I am tbinking of a whole philosophy 

of history. 

The Communists bring in a message. It affects the whole of hu- 
man life. It provides a total interpretation. They are not afraid to 
be revolutionary; to say, this is good and that is bad. They are not 
afraid to shock and challenge the received customs and habits and 
ideas. They believe in something. The West does not want to be 
revolutionary, it is afraid of being revolutionary, it does not want to 
shock and challenge, it is civilized, it is afraid lest it offend. 
Its trouble therefore may lie precisely in the fact that the 
content of its belief is very thin. For that which you really believe 
to be true and human and universal you will want to share with 
others, you cannot keep under a bushel. The question is whether 
there is a profound part of your being that you honestly feel you 
must share with others. The question is whether you honestly feel 
that you are not complete or happy so long as others are humanly in- 
complete, that you are not self-sufficient so long as others are miser- 
able or subhuman, a prey to every superstition and every dark fear. 
The self-sufficiency of the Anglo-Saxon world, its age-old protected- 
ness by seas and oceans, is its greatest present spiritual trial. It has 
not needed the rest of humanity. But the world has suddenly be- 
come physically one, and minds and ideas are much more critically 
and instantaneously and perpetually interacting with one another. 
Only he therefore who feels with humanity, who is at one with all 
conditions of men, who is insufficient and incomplete without them, 
who is not protected and separated from them, can help them and 
lead them and love them and be loved by them. The incompleteness 
of the Communist until he completes himself in others is what gives 
him the dynamism, the vision, the appeal in the eyes of Asia or 


II there wcic no universal and human elements in Wrkio I ivili 

/aiion the thing would he hopeless. But it happens thai the deposil 
of humanity and universality in this civilization is the richest in the 
world. The civilization at whose heart pulsate Aristotle and Augus- 
tine and Aquinas and Dante and Newton and Shakespeare and 
Pascal and Kant and Lincoln, the civilization which has been blessed 
and transformed by Christ, needs only a mighty hand to shake it 
out of its slumber. And once shaken, once really awakened to the 
world responsibilities which it and it alone can shoulder, there is 
nothing it cannot dare and do. 

The Americans forsook the old world and their one desire was to 
forget all about it; the Russians stayed in the old world and never 
ceased to interact with it East and West and North and South. In 
this simple difference in fundamental existential orientation the 
whole secret of the present and the future may be hid. Can the 
Americans quickly recover the intimacy of relationship with the old 
world which the Russians never lost? 


Negotiations and contacts must never be broken. The United 
Nations must never be abandoned or weakened. Cultural exchanges 
must be deepened and enlarged. The Russian people must be 
brought into intimate spiritual community with the West. Nation- 
alism is not enough, and the new nations must be afforded the op- 
portunity of belonging to larger worlds with wider horizons. The 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is one of the great- 
est documents of this age and which owes so much to the Virginia 
Declaration of Rights must be vigorously held up as a standard of 
achievement for all nations and all peoples. The West must know its 
ultimate values and believe in them. The field of struggle must 
be transposed to the intellectual and spiritual plane. The prevalent 
softness and complacency must be overcome. The area of decision 
must not be left to the initiative of the Communists: The West 


must itself choose it. And so long as the head of international Com- 
munism in Moscow remains unchanged, there is no hope. 

Can the future redeem the past? I believe it can. Will the future 
redeem the past? That depends on four things: on depth, on wis- 
dom, on daring, and on leadership. I believe without high leader- 
ship daring to act in wisdom and depth the future will not learn 
from the past. These are things for which we should yearn and 
work. But in our own effort we may not achieve them. It is only 
as God wills that depth, wisdom, daring, and leadership be granted 
the free world at this crucial hour in history, that the future will 
redeem the past. 



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